Definition of platypus in English:



  • A semiaquatic egg-laying mammal which frequents lakes and streams in eastern Australia. It has a sensitive pliable bill shaped like that of a duck, webbed feet with venomous spurs, and dense fur.

    Ornithorhynchus anatinus, the only member of the family Ornithorhynchidae, order Monotremata

    • ‘The only living monotremes are the platypuses and the echidnas.’
    • ‘The mammals the researchers studied were the platypus, echidna, opossum, wallaby, hedgehog, mouse, rat, rabbit, cow, pig, bat, tree shrew, colugo, ringtail lemur, and humans.’
    • ‘Two of the most amazing mammals on Earth are the naked mole-rat and the platypus.’
    • ‘The platypus and the echidna - a nocturnal, burrowing mammal with a spiny coat, long claws, and no teeth - are the only known living members of a type of animal known as monotremes.’
    • ‘The egg-laying platypus of Australia is the world's most poisonous mammal.’
    • ‘But it is the immediate predecessor of modern mammals, such as the platypus and the echidna.’
    • ‘The mascots at the Summer 2000 games in Sydney, Australia, were a platypus named Syd, an echidna called Millie, and a kookaburra called Olly.’
    • ‘Like these higher mammals, the platypus and the echidna also have a jaw composed of a single bone, three inner-ear bones, relatively high metabolic rates, and hair.’
    • ‘The egg-laying platypus and its cousin, the anteater, along with marsupials, make up the most primitive group of living mammals.’
    • ‘They are protected in a temporary pouch in echidnas but not platypuses.’
    • ‘Like the echidna, an adult platypus has no teeth.’
    • ‘Male platypuses have a sharp spur attached to each ankle.’
    • ‘The platypus is considered a primitive mammal, yet its bill appears to be highly advanced.’
    • ‘On page 23 the authors state, ‘The platypus has a bill like a duck and fur like a mammal, but has never been considered transitional.’’
    • ‘The duckbill platypus is a current member of the ancient monotreme group.’
    • ‘It is not an exaggeration to say the platypus is Australia's most curious creature.’
    • ‘Castorocauda has the ankle spurs characteristic of its nearest living relative, the platypus, which uses them for territorial defense.’
    • ‘Perth Zoo is another fine place to see native wildlife, such as the platypus and echidna that were the inspiration for the Olympic mascots.’
    • ‘From the looks of you, if the gin had taken on the platypus, the platypus would've lost.’
    • ‘Only four mammals besides the platypus are poisonous (but not lethal to humans).’


Late 18th century modern Latin, from Greek platupous ‘flat-footed’, from platus ‘flat’ + pous ‘foot’.